Curious to hear what more experienced RNs have done or would have done in two seperate situations.

Spoke with shift supervisor and Unit Director when a fellow RN brought a live round of firearm ammunition on the psych unit into a patient are to show another RN. Staff fearful of this RN now due to poor judgment and noted irrational engagements and tantrums now more than ever. Raised issue with supervisor as on coming charge, and recieved reply two days later that nurse had "been talked to" by director of the unit and managment. Staff remains suspicious, paranoid and less effective, as no directive or statement has come forth to ease fear. Writer of email to notify unit manager (following chain of command) gets reply back that states, "stop talking about this incident it has been handled and needs no further discussion, employee does not possess gun." Staff continues talking about though writer does not.

Next case involves a highly irrational member of law enforcement has a family member as an inpatient (on a hold DTS, DTO) and this officer has intimidated staff with such furiousity and persistence, that nurses are afraid that he may return to the unit and hurt his family member or the staff. He is not in uniform, but does insist on using a strong forceful approach and refuses to stop calling the unit demanding information. When he visits he is rude condecending and initimidating towards staff with angry stares and loud abrupt pressured speech. One one occassion, calls were demanding and relentless, that supervisor was called and she bore brunt of further attacks. Unit director asked to intervene and notify the local authorities whom the officer worked for, as the internal investigation personel had been out to investigate as the officer's hand gun was involved in the admission incident and rationale for patient. Director is asked in email to help ease fears and concerns by maybe talking to internal folks that came out, as officer's behavior is unpredicatable and he is a local cop seen weeks later in coffe shop by one of the nurses who walked out to avoid confrontation. Director did not respond to emails and even on discharge of patient, officer's behavior remained unchanged. Nurse's are still fearful of running into this guy on the street.

Director when asked, stated, "oh that's what that was about. I didn't get a chance to look at it." (one week later!!!!)

Now, nurse writing email is terminated two months later for profane language in response to profane language by coworker with long history of profane language, on a unit where manager and staff uses profane language regularly.

What do you think? Retaliation for pointing out safety concerns in writing and inquiring about follow-up?

Looking forward to hearing replies. Thanks, FlyRNII

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Well shoot Fly... call it what you want.

Just get out of there if you can since you are not safe.


1,465 Posts

Scenario #1. Bringing the ammo itself - probably no big deal, especially if it was a hunter. Very stupid and lacking real common sense. But given there are tantrums and irrational engagements really worries me. We just had a case of a nurse shooting 4 people a few years back.

Frank Garcia Murder Trial Opens - Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events -

So I'm a little bit more paranoid these days. Kimberly was in my LPN class in '04.

Anyways, I agree with 2ndwind, get out of there.


3 Posts

Specializes in Correctional, MR, Psych, Med Surg Peds. Has 17 years experience.

A job is not worth your life if you feel unsafe and management is not concerned, run for the hills.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

If I read correctly and you were fired it might be a blessing in disguise. It doesn't sound like your NM cares about the safety of your unit or stability of your coworkers. Dang if I thought I could be fired for cursing out of the patient's earshot of course I would have never become a nurse!


410 Posts

In the first instance, the Unit Manager does not need to disclose what disciplinary actions may or may not have been taken with the staff member. To continue to press the matter is inappropriate. Would you like to be called into the office for something and then have the whole staff know what actions were taken against you? Probably not. The staff member who brought the ammo decidedly was in the wrong, but how that was handled was between the RN and management. However, a simple, "The situation has been taken care of, and that's all I can say," would have gone a long way.

In the second instance, it sounds like management dropped the ball a little bit. However, it may not have been appropriate to report this family member to his employer. Should management have responded to staff concerns in this instance? Absolutely. Is management responsible for keeping staff safe out in public places such as a coffee shop? No. And calling and reporting him to the law enforcement agency he worked for may have escalated the situation even further to the point that safety may have definitely been at risk.

As far as use of profanity goes, two wrongs don't make a right. It's probably in the handbook that profanity isn't tolerated. And if you're in an at will employment state, you can be fired for showing up in green scrubs when the employer wants you to wear orange. It sucks, but it's true. However, that all being said, if I were that nurse, I'd be happy I got the heck out of dodge. If things were that wacky, and management was that unresponsive, I wouldn't want to work there.